The Key to Your Door.
Those of us who were in a destructive relationship know the strength it takes to cope with those who don’t understand. We often would hear, “Why doesn’t she just leave?”
Often those who say this won’t help. They don’t understand the pressures to stay.
Lack of money
All powerful external forces working to keep us trapped.
And as long as I focused on those, I felt tormented and helpless.
The shift that turned the key to unlock those doors began within me. My bottom line. The straw on my back.
And that is what the abuser fears the most. That is why he began and continues to work to demoralize you. He knows you are powerful.
What was that shift?
Conviction of the core truth about me. Whatever the central button was that he would push, that’s the one I began to affirm the truth about.
I stopped believing the lies.
Each time he hurled an accusation – an insult – a condemnation at me, I had to affirm the truth about me.
My prayer changed. I used to ask God to change me or him. That prayer wasn’t being answered after 15 years. That’s because it wasn’t God’s will.
Now I silently asked God to show me the way to get out. That prayer began being answered.
This practice kept me going as I found
And a way to escape Violence.
Here are some common falsehoods that keep women of faith trapped. These must be overcome to access the strength you need to get out and stay out.
- Few understand that we may not think of ourselves as victims. Instead we may think we are taking the high road morally.
- We may have been conditioned to value the ability to suffer, thinking we are pleasing God. We may be praised as “longsuffering” or “patient”.
- We may be tolerating the abuser’s extra affairs, telling ourselves we will not give in to jealousy – “like other women”.
- We may believe we have an unlimited amount of forgiveness, emulating the teaching of “70 x 7” verse.
- We may have been taught to look to our life in heaven.
- We may have been told we will go to hell if we divorce.
- We may fear losing social status, asking “What will others think?”
- We may believe we should stay “for the kids”.
- We may believe we can keep a relationship going without the other person doing his part.
All of these ideas are not only untrue, they harm us. And they allow the abuser to continue without any consequences while we grow steadily weaker.
It is not pleasing to God to enable sinful behavior in our partners.
It is not God’s will to be yoked with someone who harms us.
It is not our job to earn salvation by suffering: Jesus already did that.
Men have perverted absolute ideals about living the spiritual life into locks that keep us in bondage. They never hold the same standards for themselves.
In this way, they get to do what they want and we pay the price in the name of God.
When I began mentally converting each statement made to keep me down into its opposite, I became stronger in my conviction not to live this way anymore. I knew Jesus did not die so I would live like this.
I used the weapons hurled against me to strengthen me. For example, if he said I was lazy, I reviewed the work I had done that day. If he said I was a derelict mother, I knew the love in my heart that I had shown my children that day.
It’s useless to argue but I can keep my mind on the truth.
And I stopped trying to change his mind, correct him, make him understand, or any other wasted effort that were not my job, no matter who told me it was. I committed him to God and stopped trying to do what only God could do.
Eventually, this practice did more than stop the demoralization.
It opened doors so I could leave.
It kept me going in that difficult first year out of the marriage with three small children.
I believe God moves for those seeking righteousness.
Leaving an abuser is a move toward righteousness.
Listening for God’s guidance, I found money when we needed it.
Listening for God’s guidance, I found food when we didn’t have any.
Listening for God’s guidance, I got transportation to work after my husband took the car.
Claiming God’s promises, I ignored pressures to return.
Claiming God’s promises, my children no longer lived in emotional terror.
Claiming God’s promises, I found competent trauma counseling to recover.
Claiming God’s promises, I rejected those who would try to enforce guilt, fear or intimidation on me.
Don’t let the lies in. Fortify your mind and heart with encouraging and comforting truths. “Gird up your loins of your mind” I Peter 1:13.
Get those who understand to help you. There is always a way but rarely a good time to do it. We just have to make plans, take Christ’s hand and step out on faith.
But first we have to find the key in your mind and heart. What is the core belief you need to tap into determination? Courage is not the absence of fear but acting in spite of it.
You have it within. Hold someone’s hand, turn the key in your lock and be free.